As countries across the globe struggle to counter climate change and its effects, 300 school students in Chennai launched an initiative to plant 300 saplings and raise a micro-forest at the city’s Anna University.
In an attempt to create a world record and raise awareness, the students used robots for this afforestation initiative.
While there have been many a tree plantation drive, this was different. Tiny robots were seen carrying saplings, while the children directed the machines towards designated holes to plant them.
Mobile phones were used as remote control to direct the robots. Some children despite facing glitches with their machines, managed to complete their tasks.
Each child manually filled hole with sand and 15 more children deployed another set of robots with sprinklers to water the saplings.
Vipanchi Nayak, a student author from Puducherry who participated in the event told NDTV that, “Robotics can help in fighting global warming. For others, this may look like a world record but we know we are doing something to save our planet. We should also start using technology the right way.”
“We need to start utilising for example which people need like farmers. We need to help them with technology,” he added.
Class 4 student K Chandini, said, “It was exciting and fun to use robots to plant saplings instead of gardeners doing it.”
Citing Australian bushfires as huge environmental threat a young student added, “I’ve thought of an idea of a water pouring robot. We can control and extinguish fire with fire sensors.”
Robotics enthusiast students also shared their vision to design robots to rescue children who get trapped in borewells and to clear space junk.
Anna University has granted a patch of land for this micro forest project and organisers from SP Robotics Maker Lab, a robotic learning center, have committed to take care of the project for three years. According to the organisers, the afforestation attempt was originally an idea from a student.